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This new work by the MacArthur Award-winning novelist begins when composer Peter Els opens the door to find the police on his doorstep. His home microbiology lab where he experiments to find music in surprising patterns has aroused the suspicions of Homeland Security. Seeking help from family and a longtime collaborator, this “Bioterrorist Bach” hatches a plan to turn his disastrous collision with the security state into a work of art that will reawaken its audience to the sounds all around them.

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Michael Silverblatt

Michael Silverblatt is the host of KCRW’s half-hour radio show Bookworm, where he introduces listeners to new and emerging authors along with writers of renown. He created Bookworm for KCRW-FM in 1989. The complete Bookworm archive can be heard at kcrw.com/bookworm.


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Richard Powers

Richard Powers is the much-lauded author of eleven novels, including The Echo Maker, which won the 2006 National Book Award for Fiction. He is also a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and a Lannan Literary Award. His fiction often explores the effects of modern science and technology.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.


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